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SBC Chooses AT&T as Post-Merger Name, Gets DOJ Clearance

The AT&T moniker will live on.


SBC Communications Inc. announced today it will adopt AT&T Inc. as its name once it has completed the acquisition of the nations first telephone company.


The AT&T name has a proud and storied heritage, as well as unparalleled recognition around the globe among both businesses and consumers, said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of SBC Communications Inc., in a news release. No name is better-suited than AT&T to represent the new companys passion to deliver innovation, reliability, quality, integrity and unsurpassed customer care. This is the brand that will lead the industry in delivering the next generation of communications and entertainment services.


Once the merger closes likely at the end of this year the new company will unveil a new logo. The new AT&T also will start a new multimedia advertising campaign, but will not reveal its new stock market ticker symbol until the merger is finalized.


The brand we associate with the invention of the telecommunications industry is the brand that will soon represent the re-invention of communications and entertainment, Whitacre noted in the statement. The combination of SBC and AT&T will bring together the right assets and the right strategy to be a very strong competitor in this new IP-based services market, and we fully intend to make the most of this once-in-a-century opportunity.


Telecom analyst Jeff Kagan noted SBC made a hard decision, because that brand is well known throughout the companys territory, but the right choice. [O]ff all the names in telecom, only one has the history of AT&T, he says. AT&T was the name of the phone company since we were kids, and in fact since our parents and our grandparents were kids. It would have been sad and a waste of all that historic brand value.


Also, on Thursday afternoon, SBC received clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice for its merger with AT&T. The government had to analyze the deals potential impact on the market. For example, the two companies had to agree to provide access to certain buildings in SBC’s operating territory where AT&T has fiber and the two companies are the only providers with facilities serving those buildings. 


The Department of Justice said it found no other competitive concerns.


Since the two companies announced plans to merge in January, approvals have been received from 33 of 36 states with clearance processes and from the District of Columbia. Reviews are pending with the FCC and in Arizona, California and Ohio. 



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